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Haiti: History and Hope

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History of Haiti, earthquakes, and hope for the future.

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Haiti: History and Hope

  1. 1. Haiti: History and Hope
  2. 2. “Haiti was France’s most profitable colony and over the course of 200 years, Millions of enslaved Africans were forced to toil on spectacularly Bountiful plantations, which produced 60 per cent of all coffee and 40 per cent of all sugar consumed in Europe, more than all of Britain’s Caribbean colonies combined.”
  3. 3. “During the 18th century, Saint Domingue (Haiti) surpassed Brazil as the leading sugar-producing colony. The number of slaves brought to the tiny island of Haiti equaled more than twice the number imported into the United States. The vast majority came during the 18th century to work in the expanding sugar plantation economy”
  4. 4. “Haiti’s early history is characterized by remarkable economic output. On the eve of the Haitian Revolution, Saint Domingue had become the most lucrative colony on earth. It was the world’s top producer of sugar and coffee and among the global leaders in indigo, cacao and cotton (which was rising rapidly in importance). Indeed, Saint Domingue, occupying only a small territory, out produced the entire Spanish empire in the Americas. One in eight people in France derived their living from the enormous trade joining France with this small and distant place, 4800 nautical miles away. The reasons for this extraordinary performance can be explained from a number of factors – qualities of land and climate, government support, and more than anything, the presence of a huge number of enslaved Africans who propelled this extensive economic system with their labor…To be “as rich as a creole” was a famous boast of the time, and Saint Domingue was lionized as “the pearl of the Antilles.”
  5. 5. Impact of the emergence of the Revolution and The Destruction of Slavery in Saint Domingue from 1791 to 1804; •The Sale of Louisiana in 1803 as a consequence the losses France suffered in Haiti •The Birth of Haiti on January 1, 1804; •The Export of the Revolution; •Influence on the US (Denmark Vessey, •Gabriel Prosser, Nat Turner) •Influence on Latin America (Simon Bolivar)
  6. 6. Major Waves of Migration • 1957-1971: Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier Era – Political instability prompted significant middle & upper class migration – Brain Drain: massive exodus of professional and educated citizens • 1971-1986: Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier Era – Continued political migration – Economically motivated migration intensifies: “Boat people” • 1987-1990: Transition/military rule – 1987 Constitution – Return of many Haitians, departure of others • 1990-Present: “Democratic” Period – Sustained economic and security related migration – Politically motivated migration: coup d’etats, military rule, foreign intervention.
  7. 7. The Cholera Outbreak According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of August 4, 2013, 669,396 cases and 8,217 deaths have been reported since the outbreak first began in October 2010. MINUSTAH was linked with introducing the disease to the country by sources such as the CDC, the American Society for Microbiology, Yale Law School and the School of Public Health. The cause of the disease was attributed to faulty construction of UN sanitation systems in its base located in the Haitian town of Méyè. Many reports from Méyè stated that people had seen sewage spilling from the UN base into the Artibonite River, the largest river in Haiti that is most often used by residents for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
  8. 8. Haiti Before the Earthquake •Haiti was 145th of 169 countries in the UN Human Development Index, which is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere •More than 70% of people in Haiti were living on less than $US2 per day •86% of people in Port au Prince were living in slum conditions - mostly tightly-packed, poorly-built, concrete buildings. •80% of education in Haiti was provided in often poor-quality private schools, the state system generally provided better education but provided far too few places •Half of people in Port-au-Prince had no access to latrines and only one-third has access to tap water
  9. 9. Impact of the 12 January earthquake by disaster emergency committee • 7.0 Magnitude Quake struck near Port au Prince • 3,500,000 people were affected by the quake • 220,000 people estimated to have died • 300,000+ people were injured • Over 188,383 houses were badly damaged and 105,000 were destroyed by the earthquake (293,383 in total), 1.5m people became homeless • After the quake there were 19 million cubic metres of rubble and debris in Port au Prince – enough to fill a line of shipping containers stretching end to end from London to Beirut. • 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed • 25% of civil servants in Port au Prince died • 60% of Government and administrative buildings, 80% of schools in Port-au-Prince and 60% of schools in the South and West Departments were destroyed or damaged • Over 600,000 people left their home area in Port-au-Prince and mostly stayed with host families • At its peak, one and a half million people were living in camps including over 100,000 at critical risk from storms and flooding • Unrelated to the earthquake but causing aid response challenges was the outbreak of cholera in October 2010. By July 2011 5,899 had died as a result of the outbreak, and 216,000 were infected
  10. 10. Damage to infrastructure in the 2010 Haiti earthquake •extensive and affected areas included Port-au-Prince, Petit-Goâve, Léogâne, Jacmel and other settlements in southwestern Haiti. In February Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged. The deputy mayor of Léogâne, which was at the epicenter of the earthquake, reported that 90% percent of the buildings in that city had been destroyed and Léogâne had "to be totally rebuilt." Many notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail. The Ministry of Education estimated that half the nation's 15,000 primary schools and 1,500 secondary schools were severely damaged, cracked or destroyed. In addition, the three main universities in Port-au- Prince were also severely damaged. Other affected infrastructure included telephone networks, radio station, factories, and museums. Poor infrastructure before the earthquake only made the aftermath worse. It would take half a day to make a trip of a few miles. The roads would also crisscross haphazardly due to disorganized construction.
  11. 11. “HAITI: WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?” •Since the 2010 earthquake, almost $6 billion has been disbursed in official aid to Haiti, a country with a population of just under 10 million. An estimated $3 billion has been donated to NGOs in private contributions in addition to official aid. The United States Government alone has disbursed almost $2 billion of this total amount and has pledged over $3 billion for relief and reconstruction. •Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and private contractors have been the intermediate recipients of most of these funds. The Government of Haiti has received just 1 percent of humanitarian aid and somewhere between 15 and 21 percent of longer-term relief aid. As a result, NGOs and private contractors in Haiti have built an extensive infrastructure for the provision of social services. Yet, these entities appear to have limited accountability; despite the use of public funds, there are few evaluations of services delivered, lives saved, or mistakes made. Most importantly, Haitians are disillusioned with the overall lack of progress, and with the lack of transparency and accountability. •It is likely that NGOs and private contractors will continue to dominate service provision in Haiti for some time to come •
  12. 12. MARTELLY’S INHERITANCE AND WHAT HE HAS DONE SINCE TAKING OFFICE IN 2011 Housing: 1.5 Millions Homeless. He has placed 90% in housing; Rebuilt all of the national government buildings such as parliament, Supreme Court and others that were destroyed in Port-au-Prince; He has worked on electrification that includes the introduction of solar panels for street lamps, the repair and build of numerous energy generating sources throughout the country; He has built health centers and hospitals; Achieved yearly economic growth of 4.3% per year; Has engaged in an aggressive tourism program that has standardized the various hotels of the country and attracted investments leading to the building of 4 new airports I major cities outside of P-au-P; Renovation of the Toussaint Louverture International in P-au-P; , Build 700 KM of road plus other public works project of canalization to minimize destruction from heavy storms and rain, build bridges; Has attracted investment leading to building the Industrial Park Caricol in Plateau Central, Marriott, Best Western, Royal Oasis and the renovation of several others; Has improved security; Reopen theatres that were all but shuttered; With the construction and improvement of the airports came increased airlines servicing Haiti. In addition to American Airlines, Jet Blue, Spirit, Delta, United and others; Education: Subsidize 1.5 children for free education, food and transportation; build numerous schools; Safety nets of food programs and distribution of seeds for planting;
  13. 13. HAITI’S LONG TERM PROGRESS REQUIRES SELF-DETERMINATION Reintegration of the human resources from the Diaspora is one of its best hopes in light of the volatility of foreign aid. The volatility of official foreign aid to the Haitian government undercut an already weak public sector. To date, the Haitian government has few resources and little revenue; even during years where foreign assistance to Haiti remained relatively stable. In FY2010 it increased from $93.6 million to $225 million. As of June 2011, it was only $48.8 million for FY2011.20 This unpredictability further complicates the ability of the Haitian government to create long-term plans for recovery and economic progress. Extreme volatility in foreign assistance levels has undermined human and economic development in Haiti. Any increments in social progress - increased school enrollment, higher vaccination rates, or judicial reform – during the years that Haiti received aid were offset by decreases in the years when the country was subjected to aid embargoes;. Poverty reduction was always a secondary goal in the disbursement of foreign aid; assistance was primarily used as a reward or punitive measure to influence Haitian politics.